Czech retailers face Christmas staffing difficulties
As if lockdown this spring didn't create enough problems, retailers are already worried about how to find enough part-time employees for the Christmas holidays. In fact, with pre-Christmas sales often beginning in September and hitting full speed by October, it's clear to some store owners that they'll be unable to count on the same level of staff as they have in previous years. The problem isn't limited to shopping malls, either. Logistics centers and major e-shops are also dependent on being able to hire large numbers of people on a temporary basis in order to keep up with the demand. There reality is that there simply aren't enough Czechs to fill all the job opportunities that the holiday season produces but the foreigners that usually make up the difference left at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Tomas Surka, director of the human resources consultancy Quanta, told SeznamZpravy that many companies double or triple the size of their staff during the holiday sales period using unskilled labor. Ukrainians usually filled tens of thousands of positions for around three months. "For employers it was useful that foreigners wanted to work as much as possible, that suited them," he says. This year, there's no guarantee the Ukrainians will be make it because it's become difficult for them to secure visas. He warns that people who are currently unemployed don't tend to want to do these jobs. On the other hand, if the expected wave of unemployment hits this fall, retailers and logistics centers could find it easier to find workers than they anticipate.